The Republic of Korea (South Korea) is an established democracy that largely respects civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, although significant human rights concerns remain. Discrimination against women is pervasive, as well as discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, racial and ethnic minorities, and foreign migrants and refugees. The government also retains draconian criminal defamation laws and sweeping intelligence and national security laws that chill speech critical of the government and corporations.

In 2021, the South Korean government implemented public health measures to limit the spread of Covid-19, but some of its policy responses and implementation raised privacy rights concerns. While schools remained partially or fully open for much of the year, closures due to Covid-19 still affected over 10 million children.